sGUBIK - Synthesizing Global Urban Biological Invasion Knowledge (sGUBIK): Patterns, Mechanisms, and Applications

First meeting: 25.-29.09.2023

Luke Potgieter
Daijiang Li

iDiv members:
Ingolf Kühn
Sonja Knapp

Project summary:
Species invasions are widespread in human-dominated landscapes, often resulting in social, ecological, and economic impacts due to altered ecosystem services, impacts on human health, and control efforts. Until recently, the study of biological invasions has focused on developing concepts, frameworks, and paradigms mainly for (semi)natural ecosystems. However, urban ecosystems differ radically in that the environmental impacts of human activity are detrimental to many species, and so maintaining native biodiversity and the ecosystem services that benefit people in cities can be difficult and expensive. Therefore, interest in species invasions within urban ecosystems is growing rapidly. This proposal advocates for the creation of a global collaboration to test hypotheses and pursue a mechanistic understanding of the patterns and mechanisms underlying non-native plant species (hereafter NNPS) invasions in urban environments and how improved knowledge of patterns and mechanisms can inform policy and management of urban ecosystems. Our main objectives are: 1) to determine where urban NNPS are in the context of global plant trait-based niche space, 2) to determine which ecological, climatic, and socio-economic drivers and mechanisms explain the functional diversity of NNPS across major cities globally, 3) to understand how relationships between urban NNPS, and the traits that define their niche space, can be linked to their ecosystem services and disservices. Together, tackling these objectives will unify urban ecology and biological invasions to provide fundamental insight into one of the main drivers of change in the Anthropocene.

In person participants:
Benjamin Baiser (University of Florida); Marc Cadotte (University of Toronto); Marta Carboni (University Roma Tre); Laura Celesti-Grapow (Sapienza University of Rome); Rafael Dudeque Zenni (Universidade Federal de Lavras); Sonja Knapp (UFZ); Ingolf Kühn (UFZ); Ana Carolina Lacerda (Universidade Federal de Lavras); Daijiang Li (Louisiana State University); Zdenka Lososová (Masaryk University); Luke Potgieter (Stellenbosch University); Petr Pyšek (Czech Academy of Sciences); David Richardson (Stellenbosch University)

Remote participants:
Myla Aronson (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey); Flavia Montano Centellas* (Louisiana State University)

Meeting report

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